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Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings, for the defence of the streaming platform the decision to pull out of an episode of “the Patriot Act” by al-Hasan Minaj” in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in January — a claim that the company is not in the “truth-to-power business.”
Hastings, commenting on the decision, the New York Times DealBook, event for this week. The episode in question and criticized the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the government’s response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
The Saudi government has apparently been told Netflix that the episode violated the kingdom’s law against cyber crime. U.s. intelligence agencies believe that the brutal murder of Khashoggi, was carried out on the orders of the crown prince.
“We are not in the truth, in the power of the industry, we have been in the entertainment business,” Hastings told the reporter, Andrew Ross Sorkin, according to NBC’s Dylan Byers.
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Netflix’s decision has led to widespread complaints.
“Netflix’s claim, and in support of artistic freedom, it means nothing, if it bows to the demands of the government officials who believe in the freedom of its citizens — is not an artistic, non-political, non-comical,” Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted at the time.
Karen Attiah, who has worked with Khashoggi in The Washington Post, said that Minhaj is a strong, honest, and a [funny] the voice of challenging Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman, in the wake of her sister’s murder. “It is very shocking that Netflix has pulled in one of its episodes, the criticism of Saudi Arabia.”
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